State College Spikes Fall Just Short, Lose 4-3. Tri-City Wins NYPL Championship
For a brief moment the dream was still alive.
Down 4-1 in the bottom of the ninth inning, State College's Mason Katz delivered a two-run homer in Game 3 of the New York-Penn League Championship Series. That nudged the State College Spikes within a run. It wasn't enough though as the Tri-City Valley Cats held on to take a 4-3 victory on Thursday night at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park, winning the NYPL championship.
Katz's home run, his second of the series, came with no outs in the ninth. State College's Luis Perez singled and Jimmy Bosco bunted him to second but Tri-City closer Gonzalo Sanudo struck out Steven Ramos and Cesar Valera to seal the championship win for the Valley Cats.
Earlier in the game Katz made his mark in the fourth inning when he knocked in Carson Kelly with a single to left-center field. Katz was a key player in the three-game series, hitting .417 (5-for-12) along with five RBIs. The run gave State College a 1-0 lead that they would hold for just over an inning.
State College ran into trouble in the sixth inning for the second straight night after Spike's starter Jimmy Reed was relieved. Reed was fantastic in his five innings of work, giving up three hits and striking out four batters. Reliever Victor DeLeon entered the game and struggled, allowing two runs to score under his watch. The runs were charged to Reed who left the game with runners on first and second base.
The sixth inning saw Tri-City rack up four runs to take a decisive 4-1 lead. Unlike in Game 2, State College was unable to immediately respond, not scoring again until Katz's home run late in the final frame.
Tri-City's NYPL title win was its first since 2010, when the ValleyCats defeated Brooklyn, two games to none, in the Championship Series. For State College, it was the most successful season in franchise history one that fans and players will not forget any time soon.